NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced an expansion of his crackdown on mortgage rescue companies that he says abuse homeowners in the state.
As part of the expansion, more than 30 mortgage rescue companies will receive cease and desist letters. The letters warn the companies the immediately end all misleading and illegal conduct. These newest letters bring the total of letters sent to 213.
"The letters that we are sending out to mortgage rescue companies across the United States intend to stop bad companies in their tracks," Cuomo said.
"Many of these companies take money from homeowners who cannot afford to pay it and make a bad situation worse. We are telling these companies to immediately cease any wrongdoing and to make sure their business practices are all above board, or they are going to be held accountable by my office."
Cuomo's cease and desist letters warn mortgage rescue companies to end any illegal, deceptive and misleading practices, including charging upfront fees for consulting services, failing to enter into written contracts with homeowners using the homeowner's language and failing to allow homeowners to cancel their contracts without penalty within five business days of signing.
The companies are also told to stop using deceptive and misleading advertising practices and to stop using advertisements designed to give consumers the false impression that the company is affiliated with the government or a government-sponsored program.
The mortgage rescue industry, Cuomo alleges, routinely collects illegal upfront fees from homeowners whoa re facing foreclosure. The rescue companies then fail to aid consumers in lowering their mortgage payments or saving their homes.